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Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery

Are you a candidate? View the grid below to see the general guidelines for qualification of weight-loss surgery at Sanford Health.

  Gastric Bypass Lap Band Sleeve Gastronomy
Body mass index (BMI) 35 or higher* 35 or higher* 50 or higher
Age 18 or older 18 or older 18 or older
Supervised, documented attempt to lose weight through diet and exercise Yes Yes Yes
Good understanding of lifestyle changes needed after surgery. Yes Yes Yes

*To qualify for insurance, patients with a BMI of 35-40 also must have one to two weight-related health problems, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.

Making a Commitment

Weight-loss surgery requires a commitment on your part. How ready are you? To get a better idea, answer the questions below.

  1. How overweight am I?
  2. What obesity-related medical complications do I experience? (Arthritis? Back problems? Diabetes? High blood pressure? Hiatal hernia? Gall bladder surgery? Fatigue?)
  3. Have I talked with my primary care doctor about obesity?
  4. At some time in the past year, have I participated in a medically supervised, documented weight-loss attempt?
  5. Do I have sufficient motivation toward weight loss to make the necessary changes in eating habits and exercise?
  6. Am I willing to make a formal commitment to the procedure and to myself?

At Sanford, we ask that you as a patient promise to:

  • Make a commitment to change.
  • Keep your appointments with the dietitian for the first two years.
  • Keep us informed of your change of address and phone numbers for your lifetime – keep in touch!
  • Attend support group meetings.
  • Periodically perform blood tests to measure your serum iron and serum vitamin B-12 levels.
  • Engage in vigorous aerobic exercise for 45 minutes three to four times a week – for life.
  • Take recommend supplements every day – for life.
  • Get psychological counseling if your doctor recommends it.
  • Come and see us in the future if your weight maintenance becomes unsatisfactory.
  • Notify us if you've been hospitalized for problems related to your surgery.